Wayne Gallman was inactive in the Giants’ first three games of the season. He’s also been a non-factor in the offense during practices. All of his work since the end of the preseason had come on the scout team.
Until Wednesday, that is.
That’s when Orleans Darkwa missed practice with a back injury and Shane Vereen, who started in the practice, did not complete it with what appeared to be a calf injury suffered early in the workout. With two of the three main running backs sidelined, it was time for Gallman to play.
“I got all of the team reps,” he said, noting that the Giants also gave starter Paul Perkins a bit of a rest. “I really got a full dosage. I was prepared. I’m ready for an opportunity and I can’t wait to play.”
Asked how hard it has been to wait almost a month, he said: “I’m itching so badly I have a rash.”
He may get a chance to quell that on Sunday if either Darkwa or Vereen is unable to play.
“I’m just doing the best I can, and I’ll wait the week out and see how it goes,” Gallman said. “They can still be healthy at the end of the week, I don’t know. But I’m still going to be prepared for the opportunity.”
There is something to be said for giving it to him no matter what. The Giants’ running game has been awful through three games, averaging 48.7 yards per game and no more than 62 in any single game. They have yet to score a rushing touchdown. Perkins, who was ordained the starter by Ben McAdoo during the offseason, is averaging 2.1 yards per carry and his longest run of the year is for 7 yards.
It’s certainly more than just the running backs that ails the Giants’ running game. But Gallman, the fourth-round pick from Clemson this spring, might be able to provide a spark.
“Can’t wait until the time that we get him on the field, when that time comes,” running backs coach Craig Johnson said when asked about Gallman last week.
It may be coming now. And if it does, Gallman said he’ll be ready.
“I hope to do what they drafted me for,” he said, “which is help improve the running game.”